cgs/& the hospital is everywhere i see

This is all because of a certain love for owls.  It started with the one that flew over the roof of my car when I was seventeen.  It was at my best friend's house, and his mother was dying, and it was obvious that the owl knew this before we did.  It was not my mother, and not my owl, and not even my car.

I didn't even own a car until I was 33 years old, and already a father, at that young and tender age.  I don't own a daughter, and I don't want to own anyone's daughter.  But it's so nice to meet you here, because every daughter is interesting, and every son has a story about their fathers that they can't talk about. 

I don't know exactly how to connect everything I want to connect to owls, but I know it's there somewhere.  Every father dies eventually, and I might have thought once that if I never became a father, I would never die.

Tonight I'm not afraid of dying, but I am very reluctant to do it, because it looks like so much trouble, especially on the living.  It's like watching someone getting ready to go on a trip across the seas, they look panicked and lost and there are too many details, but you know that at the moment the plane leaves the ground, they'll be on it, with their passport ready and enough to get there, and the rest can be figured out once they get there, that all the details they were scrambling for are the ones that you will have to live with the next morning, and start again to put a life together again.

There were owls' eyes looking at me through the clouds tonight, and I saw one sitting in the backyard of the boy I take care of, and there are owls on all of my daughter's shirts these days.  Owls taught me so much over the years, and Oya teaches me all the things that I never thought I needed to know.  Oya watches the heads of those who get tangled up in the tango of their own storms, and Obatala watches the heads of those who are beyond untangling, the ones who never make it back from over the ocean, but are still required to live out a certain number of years in that head, in that body.

But I learned how to escape my own head, and I learned how to enter back into it for all the most crucial scenes of my life so far.  When I am very tired, or when the day is grown too long with a relentless heat that tries to make tracks on my back, like that unwanted lover who comes back with fire in her eyes and no plans for anyone but you, I look for the most likely birds.  The ones who are most likely to lift my aching heart out of my body for a rest, I give them all my wishes, and all my desires.  This is because I've learned lately not to trust anyone or anything that doesn't speak to me with the right balance between symbols and numbers, and I can't open this memory for even a moment, because the things of the blood will open to the air and change color at just the wrong moment.

Despite the need to lean toward the salty sides of the scale, where bitterness holds its rewards in tasting its lessons, there is enough sweetness here to make the days burn with a blue and quiet fire.  Sweetness holds its own reward in the tasting, but I've also learned not to trust in it for too long, because it often hides more than it reveals.  And I'm starting to get more annoyed than surprised when my machines talk to me after midnight, tying our tongues impossibly with messages that we can't understand.

There is no death in a night like this.  Death is always around, looking for someone to take, but tonight I've sealed the doors and won't answer calls from anyone who doesn't know my combination, the one that keeps doubling impossibly with the weight of a destiny.  But if there is anything to hope for in honey that's been open for too long, it might do well to wait for another day or five, because the lines are tangled and I can't see what I'm supposed to say that will make things turn again.

This life might very well be a glass bead game played by children, and we might be better players if we just learn to live in silence for awhile again, trust the breath, and send only small inaudible messages between birds and cats, the ones that say I hope you are still breathing, because on clear mornings, your breath is the sweetest thing I know in this world. 


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